Business Aviation Insider

June 10, 2019

Aviation managers need to be aware of how their company is changing to anticipate future needs.

When it comes to business aviation, Pete Agur has a favorite saying: “Over the years we’ve learned how to do things right. Now we have to focus on doing the right things.”

The longtime industry expert believes that it is incumbent on aviation managers to take their departments to the next level, beyond the efficient operations that already support the company. That means making the aviation unit a fully integrated tool in a company’s strategic plan.

“Many flight departments are operated tactically, not strategically,” said Agur. “The leader of the aviation services group needs to be integrated into what’s going on downtown. If you wait for them to come to you, it’s already too late.”

Agur makes a persuasive case for the need for aviation directors to become company leaders.

“It’s already a given that operations are safe, on-time and efficient. The next best way to give value to your owner or company is to become strategically integrated. Help them anticipate their needs; be attuned to how the company is changing and be a part of the company. Don’t just be the aviation department helping the company.”

Company leadership is focused on the core business, not the aviation department, notes Agur.

“They aren’t trying to figure out how business aviation can help their company grow and be successful. It is up to the aviation department head to be proactive, not reactive, and demonstrate how the use of company aircraft should be a part of core corporate strategy.”

Participating in high-level company meetings, spend-ing more time at headquarters, taking leadership and executive classes, and networking with and getting guidance from key company officials are all ways aviation leaders can help ensure that business aviation is properly valued.

PETE AGUR is founder and chair of The VanAllen Group, a consultancy that supports aircraft owners and operators as they strive for strategic and operational integration and excellence. He won NBAA’s 2018 John P. “Jack” Doswell Award for lifelong achievement in support of business aviation.